When I travel, I am so grateful for a chance to meet with people who are local to the city. Last night, we had dinner with a local writer and her colleague, a former diplomat who heads an NGO. We talked about current events and about 1000 years of Polish history when the Jewish community first arrived in Poland. Both women spoke English.
I have come here to explore this history. My mother's parents emigrated from Poland to Canada around the time of the First World War. Very few of our Polish relatives survived the Holocaust. I am not looking for the villages of my family. No relatives are there. But I do want to see and learn about this place as a home for more than 3 million Jews before 1939. What can I learn in a few weeks, just a beginning.
We came here from Israel where they are experiencing another heat wave. It is cool spring weather here. Warsaw is a beautiful city with wide avenues, divided by boulevards planted with trees. The streets are flat, easy to walk on, and there are many stores and cafes in this area along Pope John Paul II Ave where our hotel is located. I had to buy some warmer clothes for this part of the trip. We went to the Technical Museum and then went shopping. The woman who assisted me in the store spoke English. She showed me a variety of blue jeans. I asked her what she would recommend for her mum and she showed me great slacks and long sleeved shirts. When I was getting dressed to leave, she brought me two chocolate candies so I should have a sweet beginning to our trip. Now that is a warm welcome!